Thermopile supporting an antenna tower at the HAARP facility at Gakona, Alaska
Thermopiles are load bearing two-phase thermosyphons that are
generally used to found structures where permafrost soils exist.
Typical thermopile applications follow:
- Installation at sites with a frost-susceptible active layer where
heave and pile jacking are problems. Thermo-cycling reduces frost heave
forces to negligible quantities.
- Installation in marginal permafrost where pile creep rates are
high. Thermo-cycling reduces soil temperatures and subsequently reduces
- Installation at sites with saline permafrost where allowable
stresses are reduced due to substantial quantiies of unfrozen water in
the soil matrix. Thermo-cycling freezes water near piles and pushes
salts away. Also proven effective for moving glycol from a piling face.
- Installation at sites where development has increased the heat
load to the subgrade. Heat transfer rates of the Thermopiles need to be
sized to balance or exceed heat load.